Research shows that youth who play outside are happier, more focused, and less anxious than youth who spend more time indoors. Then why are young people spending more and more time inside? University of Michigan found that the average American child spends less than 30 minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play, and over 6 hours a day in front of a screen. To describe how modern kids have a severe lack of time and opportunities outside, author Richard Louv coined the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder”. Louv interviewed a child who once told him how he enjoyed indoor play more than outdoor play “’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are”.
We know why getting outdoors is good for kids: It helps them be active, builds their confidence, and encourages imagination and creativity. Time outdoors also helps reduce a child’s stress and fatigue. Time indoors involves ‘directed attention’, which requires people to ignore distractions and interruptions, which can exhaust your brain. In an outdoor natural environments, we exercise a relaxed type of attention known as ‘soft fascination’, which can create feelings of happiness. Research has even show that being outside makes children nicer, improving social connections, value for community, and close relationships.
At 4-H Camp Overlook, we value the idea of unstructured outdoor free time. While we love our camp classes and all that they teach, outdoor free time allows campers a different chance to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. American Academy of Pediatrics encourages free play as it protects children’s emotional development, whereas loss of free time and a hurried lifestyle can contribute to anxiety and depression. When campers are enjoying outdoor free time, they can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the natural world in inventive ways. It also gives them the great opportunity to connect with peers and mentors, all without the aid of technology. Getting back to basics is what camp is all about!
For more information on how time outside can be beneficial to a child’s development, visit https://childmind.org and the http://www.nwf.org . To learn more about the outdoor programs offered at 4-H Camp Overlook, call 518.483.4769.
We are excited to announce that our online registration for summer 2017 is now open! With online registration you can choose your weeks, programs, and classes, and pay with credit card.
Cloverbud 1 Thursday, June 29 – Saturday, July 1
Arrive Thursday at 10:00 am. Depart Saturday 1:00 pm
(new) Cloverbud 2 Sunday August 6—Tuesday August 8
Arrive Sunday at 1 pm. Depart Tuesday at 1:00 pm
Week 1 Sunday, July 2 – Friday, July 7
Week 2 Sunday, July 9 – Friday, July 14
Week 3 Sunday, July 16 – Friday, July 21
Week 4 Sunday, July 23 – Friday, July 28
Week 5 Sunday, July 30 – Friday, August 4
Week 6 Sunday, August 6 – Friday, August 11
Arrive Sunday between 1:00—3:00pm. Closing Ceremony is 7:00 pm on Friday.
Alpine Adventures 1 runs during Traditional week 1 & 6
Mountaineers runs during Traditional week 4
Arrive Sunday between 1:00—3:00pm. Closing Ceremony is 7:00 pm on Friday
As the planning stages at 4-H Camp Overlook of summer 2017 are well underway, we have some excited new classes to share with our campers and parents. Camp Overlook prides itself on blending new classes with classic camp traditions, to create a program that welcomes new campers and families while being a place generations come back to year after year. Summer camp is a place where the learning is hands on, and the skills acquired last a lifetime! Many of camps traditional classes still run every year, and often bring new innovations to make them better than ever. This year we are bringing a few new classes to add variety to our regular programming,
One of our most exciting changes this summer is that we are offering our very popular cooking class all 6 weeks! Feedback from campers and parents alike was they wanted more opportunity for campers to take the class and we listened – Class size is limited each week, so sign up early to get your spot. Our cooking class lets campers learn basic cooking and baking techniques eat their delicious creations. We are also introducing a new camp garden and gardening class for this summer, where participants will learn more about where their food comes from, get hands on experience gardening, and even taste what our garden produces. Camper will get a chance to become reporters, interview other campers and staff, and take photos for a camp newspaper which will be available in print and online at the end of the week, as part of our new camp newspaper class.
Down on the shooting sports range, we will be offering an Advanced Air Gun class. This class is for campers 11 and up who have already taken a year of Air Gun and want to further their skills. These campers will learn new shooting positions and have new advanced challenges, as well as more shooting time on the range. For campers who cannot get enough of our Wilderness Survival Class, our new Pathfinder class will be a chance to put their skills to the test. Offered weeks 2, 3 & 5, the Pathfinder class will be offered to campers of all ages and serves as a great stepping stone into backpacking and camping. On Wednesday afternoon Pathfinder campers will even hike to the top of Owls Head Mountain to put some of their new knowledge to the test and cook a meal on top of a mountain!
4H Camp Overlook is always trying to find new ways to engage campers with exciting programs every summer. To offer more variety and education in the outdoors we’ve added a new three tier backpacking program to camp life.
Years ago we’ve had outing programs similar to this which introduced campers to the wonders of the Adirondacks. We’re now bringing it back to cater to campers who have an interest in exploring the wilderness. This program is called M.AA.P.’s, an acronym for Mountaineer, Alpine Adventures, and Pathfinder.
For campers who want to gain some experience and knowledge of camping and backpacking but still want to be a full participant in camp life our Pathfinder class is perfect. It provides a one class (of the five you sign up for at camp) per day instruction of the basic skills in backcountry camping such as, pitching a tent, building a fire, learning how to pack proper gear, orienteering, leave no trace principles, and campers will spend an afternoon hiking the nearby mountain Owls Head and experience a meal in the backcountry. Pathfinder is the perfect way to dip your toes into backcountry hiking and backpacking while staying a part of regular summer camp life. The Pathfinders section of the M.AA.P.’s program is open to campers of all ages, and is a class that will be offered weeks 2, 3 & 5 of Traditional camp programming.
The second step in the M.A.A.Ps program is called Alpine Adventures. This program allows campers to spend half their time at camp and half their time in the Adirondack high peaks region. The goal of this program is to familiarize youth with the skills needed to camp and hike in the backcountry. The first part of the week campers will dedicate their day time classes to planning and preparing for their two day trip which includes brushing up on Leave No Trace principles, pitching tents, packing gear, orienteering, and backcountry cooking. Campers will go into this trip with set goals in mind and the drive to accomplish them. The Alpine Adventures program is perfect for an introduction in to backcountry camping and hiking as the campers will hike at least one of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks. Alpine Adventures is open for campers ages 11 and up as a separate program they register for. Alpine Adventures will be held weeks 1 & 6 of traditional camp.
Finally, the Mountaineering program will give our older campers a complete backpacking experience spending four nights and five days in the Adirondack wilderness. Mountaineer campers will dive directly in to programming once they enter camp. The campers tent on site the first night as they prepare for the weeks adventures and get to know their fellow Mountaineer bunch. Our specially trained staff will lead mountaineer campers on an outdoor education experience they will never forget. The Mountaineering program is open to campers ages 14 and up and is a separate program campers would register. Mountaineer will run week 4 of traditional camp.
For more information, visit the M.A.A.Ps section of the website
If you have ever visited 4-H Camp Overlook during Cloverbud camp, you know it is filled with happy young faces, swimming, playing, and even a special teddy bear parade. Cloverbud camp caters to our youngest demographic, 6-8 year olds, and gives them a fantastic introduction to overnight camping. It’s a 3-day, 2-night session — the perfect length of time to let children feel like they’re really away at camp, but without giving them time to get homesick. The past few years our Cloverbud camp has filled quickly, and last year we had a sizable waitlist. The continued popularity of this program has encouraged us to introduce small second session for August 2017, to run concurrently with our Traditional week 6 program. This additional session will allow more campers to attend and experience Cloverbud camp. Cloverbud session 1 will run during the traditional time, Thursday, June 29th-Saturday, July 1st. Cloverbud session 2 will run Sunday August 6th –Tuesday August 8th.
Cloverbud campers will participate in their own program, filled with a sampling of many camp classes and a special carnival, but will be able join older campers for meals and free time activities. Cloverbud campers attending this second session will be in their own cabins, with counselors specially trained to work with our youngest children. This new session will be especially beneficial for some young campers who are perhaps a little nervous about their first trip from home. They will be able attend camp and gain independence, but have the comfort of an older sibling or friend close by who is enrolled in the traditional week 6 program.
Registration for 4-H Camp Overlook opens February 1st, and is available online and in paper. You can visit our website at 4hcampoverlook.org for more information about Cloverbud, traditional overnight camp, or our year-round programs. Feel free to contact our camp registrar Teresa for any questions at 518.483.4769. We look forward to seeing you in 2017!
Save the date for Summer 2017! <3
As part of Camps new sustainability initiative, we are encouraging all campers and families to sign 4-H Camp’s Green Pledge! This is a non-binding agreement, just to encourage discussion and dialogue about living a more earth friendly life. We’re hoping families place on their fridge as a reminder for you to ‘Think Green’.
You can also read a more detailed version of 4-H Camp Overlook’s sustainability pledge in our official 4-h Camp Overlook Environmental Stewardship Plan.
Please note, Cloverbud 2016 is FULL for girls as of end of March. If you apply online, you will be automatically added to the waitlist. There is a few spaces left for boys, so please do not delay in enrolling.
Our traditional weeks are all filling fast, and at this point we predict we will be mostly full by May. Apply online today!
A reminder, camp is filled on a first come, first serve basis, once we have received the deposit. If you apply online or in paper without submitting a deposit, your child is not considered enrolled. Their spot is not held until the we receive the deposit. Thank you!
Scholarship applications for Summer 2016 are due April 15th. For more information on scholarships and how to apply, please visit our scholarship page, or call our office at 518.483.4769
We hope to see you this summer!
One of the reasons campers come back year after year is because of our fantastic, dedicated staff. We are lucky to have some very talented individuals teach, grow, and play with our campers, and this year will be no different!
If you, or someone you know, would be a great fit for our camp staff, please have them apply at: http://4hcampoverlook.org/employment/